Fairfield Faculty Members Earn Prestigious Fulbrights

Fairfield Faculty Members Earn Prestigious Fulbrights

Brian Walker, PhD, professor of biology and Tanika Eaves Simpson, PhD, MSW, assistant professor of social work, are both recipients of 2023-24 Fulbright Global Scholars grants.

Media Contact: Robby Piazzaroli, rpiazzaroli@fairfield.edu, 203-254-4000 x2597

Fairfield University is pleased to announce that two faculty members have been named Fulbright Global Scholars for the 2023-24 academic year. The recipients are Brian Walker, PhD, professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences and Tanika Eaves Simpson, PhD, MSW, assistant professor of social work in the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies.

“Fulbright Scholar Awards are incredibly prestigious,” said Vice Provost for Undergraduate Excellence Mark Ligas, PhD. “And the fact that Fairfield has two appointed faculty — for an institution of our age and size — is a testament to our faculty’s academic strength, growth, and ultimately the real impact they will have on the world at large.”

Dr. Walker’s research on the effects of human disturbances on wildlife — focusing mostly on bird species, and most intently on penguins — will take him to Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa. He will spend six to eight weeks in each location where he plans to develop a consortium of penguin biologists interested in pursuing “the plague of microplastics on our environment.”

Dr. Eaves Simpson’s work will take her to Australia where she will conduct new research in her field. In the recent past, her research interests have included pregnancy and birthing care of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals and families who were pregnant, birthing, and parenting infants. Additionally, Dr. Eaves Simpson has researched global workplace support practices for infant-family professionals.

Fulbright Scholar Awards are prestigious and competitive fellowships that provide unique opportunities for scholars to teach and conduct research abroad. Fulbright scholars also play a critical role in U.S. public diplomacy, establishing long-term relationships between people and nations. Alumni include 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 78 MacArthur Fellows, and thousands of leaders and world-renowned experts in academia and many other fields across the private, public, and non-profit sectors.

Since 1982, twenty-two Fairfield faculty members have received distinguished Fulbright grants. The University has only had the instance of two simultaneous awardees three other times in the past.

“The Fulbright selection process is quite competitive,” Dr. Ligas noted, “as applicants must gain approvals for their work from both an outbound U.S. committee and an inbound international location committee.”

Posted On: May 9, 2023

Volume: 54 Number: 105

Fairfield University is a modern Jesuit Catholic university rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the U.S. and across the globe are pursuing degrees in the University’s five schools. Fairfield embraces a liberal humanistic approach to education, encouraging critical thinking, cultivating free and open inquiry, and fostering ethical and religious values. The University is located on a stunning 200-acre campus on the scenic Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.